Sunday, October 16, 2011

Good Vegan Fare at V-Note

Vegan restaurants do not always garner raves.  They aren’t usually dining out destinations—they are places to take your vegan and vegetarian friends.  But have you seen V-Note’s reviews on Yelp?  They are overwhelmingly positive, from vegans and non-vegans alike.  So my roommate and I gave it a shot.

There is a lot on the menu to choose from, and there are both tofu and fake-meat dishes alongside delicious vegetable options.

But whether you like V-note will really come down to this question:  how do you feel about sauce?  

To start, I had the lentil rings, which were a mix of lentils and root vegetables in a phyllo crust.  I was hoping they would actually be shaped like onion rings, but I realized that was a bit much to ask.  The menu said they came with a “pistachio mustard,” which turned out to be a pool of pistachio-based creamy sauce.  The rings themselves tasted much more Indian than I expected them, but nonetheless, they were very good.  This was probably my favorite of our three food courses.

Next I had the roasted pumpkin and sweet potato gnocchi, served with kale in a creamy cashew sauce (note that it’s “creamy,” not cream, because this is a vegan restaurant after all ;) ).  This was my least favorite dish.  The sauce and kale were delicious, but something about the gnocchi tasted a little sour to me.

 My roommate had the Mushroom Lentil Ravioli, which also came swimming in a delicious lightly mushroom-flavored sauce (when I poached a ravioli from her, I was afraid her dish might overflow!)  The combination of mushrooms and chickpeas in the filling made for an interesting combination.
All of these dishes seemed healthy, and even though the sauces were creamy, the dinner didn’t feel particularly rich.

Until…you know…the Chocolate Ganache Cake with Peanut Butter Center.  Vegan desserts can be hit or miss, and this one was a HIT.  Although the Vegan ice cream didn’t do much for me (here’s one place I could have used real cream), the cake itself was divine:  crumb crust, two layers of chocolate cake, a creamy peanut butter filling, all topped off with a silky layer of ganache.

My roommate and I were thinking the exact same thing:  thank God peanut butter is vegan.

1522 1st Ave
(between E 79th St. & E. 80th St)
New York, NY 10075

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